Anglicare SA

Unlikely recording artists launch CD

A newly formed musical group – whose participants have suffered through homelessness, drug abuse and mental illness – has successfully recorded a musical performance CD.

The performers, who have no previous musical training, reside at Ian George Court in Brompton, AnglicareSA’s exceptional needs residential care facility. They have participated in a therapeutic musical program since September 2015 and their recently recorded CD has just been launched for sale.

Ms Shirley Ann Essex, Acting Site Manager at Ian George Court, said the group, known as Gabi’s Angels and the Wise Men, performed for the first time at the facility’s 2015 Christmas party.

“After receiving feedback from our residents, Ian George Court staff created a tailored music program to provide an opportunity for expression, connection and purpose,” Ms Essex said.

“The outcomes have been inspiring and breathtaking.

“The Music Coordinator, Ms Gabi Neary, coordinates group and individual sessions and enables passive and active program involvement according to the individual needs of each resident.

“We try to find ways to make our residents feel safe and included. For many Ian George Court residents, the staff and fellow residents become their new family.”

Ms Essex said that late in 2015, Ms Neary included a palliative care resident in the music program by visiting his room regularly to play guitar and sing 1950s swing tunes to him – a musical genre the resident had said he loved.

“Residents involved in the music program have experienced reduced levels of physiological and psychological symptoms and social distress,” Ms Essex said.

“We have seen music bring a sense of life and love to our Ian George Court community.”

Joyce, a resident since February and a member of the singing group, designed the CD cover artwork. CDs are available through Ian George Court (Ph: 08 8348 2000) for $10 each with all money raised invested back into the music program to purchase musical instruments and equipment.

Ian George Court provides support for disadvantaged frail aged residents who were homeless or at risk of homelessness.